Deandre Ayton was widely considered the top choice for the No. 1 pick in June’s NBA draft.
But he wasn’t the consensus. There was a strong contingent who believed that Slovenia’s Luca Doncic was the best player in the draft and a steal for any team lucky enough to draft him after the top pick.
The Phoenix Suns went chalk, taking Ayton No. 1 overall, while the Atlanta Hawks selected Doncic at No. 3 before trading him to the Dallas Mavericks.
The Suns and Mavericks opened their seasons against each other Wednesday, pitting the high-profile rookies against each other in their NBA debuts.
Deandre Ayton off to a nice start
The early edge goes to Ayton.
Ayton had an excellent debut, logging 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists on eight-of-11 shooting in a 121-100 Suns win.
Ayton opened the Suns’ scoring while showing Doncic the post moves that made him unguardable as a freshman at Arizona.
No. 1 picks scores over the No. 3 pick 👏👏
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) October 18, 2018
Solid, inefficient debut for Doncic
Doncic logged 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists while struggling from the field, hitting five-of-16 shots. He did show some of the passing and court vision that have basketball fans salivating over his arrival in the NBA.
— NBA (@NBA) October 18, 2018
Overall, the night belonged to another young Suns star, Devin Booker, who scored 35 while hitting six-of-10 3-pointers.
Neither of these teams projects to be competitive this season. But there is young talent on both rosters that should have fans excited about the future.
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